Tuesday, 26 April 2016

On being a MAD Awards Finalist (Working Title: How The F*** did that happen?!)

Last Thursday evening, I was sitting at my computer desk writing a blog post.

This is pretty much where you'll always find me on any given evening.. with my chipped old Tinkerbell mug full of coffee growing colder by the second as I sit tapping away on the keyboard, writing whatever post has taken my fancy that evening...and usually opening 2 or 3 other tabs at the same time to make notes on other ideas which come to me while writing.

I sat there, as I do every night, lost in my little bubble...scribbling down post ideas and crossing things off the 20+ "To Do" lists scattered around my desk (I say desk...it's more of a table in the corner of the playroom which I have to fight my way through a field of discarded plastic fruit and a zillion tiny cars to get to).

I was just absentmindedly picking at an unidentified brown stain on my pyjama top and hoping it was chocolate and not baby poo, when I noticed a Tweet alert ping up on my phone.

I glanced at it, and noticed it was from my blog friend Jada...it read "@MADBlogAwards @Sparkles_blog CONGRATS! <3"

I was confused.

 And then my heart skipped a little as I wondered "Surely that doesn't mean congrats on an awards announcement?! Have they announced the finalists?! Surely I can't be one of them?!"

But then my rational-mind took over and I thought "No silly, it will just be Jada saying Congrats in reply to an OLD tweet about me being nominated...that's all!"

So I logged on to Twitter to reply to it...but when I expanded the tweet, I saw that it was in response to the MAD Awards announcing their list of finalists.

That little heart flutter came again.

"No" I told myself..."Surely not"

I clicked on the link and waited as my 10 year old computer struggled to open the page...nervous finger tap- tap- tapping away while I sat with baited breath, silently scolding myself for getting my hopes up.

And then the list appeared.

I scrolled through it...familiar names of bloggers I read every day and admire appearing before my eyes, just as they should.

And then there it was....under Best Pregnancy Blog finalists...Sparkles & Stretchmarks.

That oh-so familiar name....the one I've typed into my address bar about 20 times a day for the past 3 years to tweak this or that....the one I sign off on about 100 emails a week...the one I came up with whilst I sat on my bed at my mums house 3 years ago whilst heavily pregnant with my first baby, fed up and lonely and wanting to reach out into the world - the one that seemed like the best of a bad bunch of name options after I toyed with the idea of "Beauty & The Bump" (referencing my desire to combine make up blogging and baby blogging...good thing I didn't go with that one as the make up blogging didn't really happen!) or "The Baby Brain Diaries" (Such was life at the time!).

That name which, little did I realise at the time, would come to feel just as much a part of my identity as the name I was given at birth.

The name which represents this blog, which I pour so much heart and soul and care into every single day...which almost feels like a fourth child (Oh I know it's such a cliche, but it's bloody true and it's given me just as many sleepless nights as a child would... believe me!)...there it was.

 On a list of finalists, for an award....an actual real award.

I don't think I've ever won an award for anything in my life. I've certainly never owned any kind of trophy. It's not something I thought I would really have a chance of doing...I mean, what would I ever be able to win an award for?!

The excitement was clearly too much for me and I let out a strange, strangled sort of sound which I think was supposed to be a scream but it was more of  an "I'm -really-conscious-that-I-Don't-Want-To-Wake-The-Children" sort of muffled yelp...and I ran through into the kitchen to fill my partner in.

I stood there rambling on all about the awards and what they are, and that ...well...anyway...I've been listed as a finalist!  Jon just stood there with that blank "Oh god, she's talking about blog stuff again...just smile and nod along" face...so I trundled back through to the computer room, feeling a bit of an anti-climax.

Who do you celebrate these sorts of blog achievements with?! "Real world" people just don't get it!

But sure enough....just as they're always there for me on the other side on my phone screen when I need them...one by one, my good old blogging buddies started to ping up with messages of congratulations and support.

And once again, that smile spread over my face and that feeling of utter shock but absolute delight seeped its way into me...and neither one has left me since.

I am absolutely in awe of the fact that I am on the Finalist list, I genuinely can't believe it and every day I check my emails with the worry that I'll find one saying "Whoops! Sorry! We made a mistake! You're not really a finalist!"

If you took the time to vote for me in the awards, THANK YOU so much for making me so genuinely happy.

Even if you didn't vote, even if you're just someone who reads my blog occasionally...THANK YOU anyway for being a part of the only thing I've ever done (Apart from motherhood, of course!) that makes me feel a part of something and makes me feel useful and good. 

The nerves I have about going to the Awards Ceremony deserve a post all of their own and I'll no doubt write one soon (For a start...I'm in the Best Pregnancy Blog category, WHAT if Dr Ranj sees me and thinks I'm still pregnant and makes a joke about in front of all those people when my baby will actually be 7 months old?! Can someone PLEASE point me in the direction of a really good girdle?!) - but regardless, the excitement is already bubbling away and I am just so thrilled to have my name on the list for doing something that now seems so very natural to me and such a part of my life.

I guess I'm supposed to try and sell myself to you now as a great candidate for the award itself...in truth I am under no illusions that I might win as the people in my category are PHENOMENAL bloggers who inspire me every day with their words and their beautiful photography and their can-do attitudes to life 

(And hello, Sue Radford of 19 Kids and Counting is in my category! Not that I should be advertising other people for you to vote for, but that woman is my hero and I watch every TV show there is about her family...she makes me realise that I can handle life with 3 kids if she can pull off life with 19 and still seem normal!) 

But in the interests of playing the game, here are some of my own favourite Pregnancy-related posts....please do have a read through:

If you like my blog posts, and you think I'm deserving of the award you can cast a vote for me here - It would of course be very much appreciated!:

In the meantime, I'm off to buy an awards outfit!! (*Ahem*...I mean a girdle...)

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